On Location: The Barista League Budapest Competition

07 June 2022

The ninth-largest city the EU played host to some of the world’s top coffee aficionados as The Barista League descended on Flow to compete for title of Barista League Champion. The Barista League is a coffee competition by baristas, for baristas. Their goal is to produce engaging content and events that are inclusive, accessible, sustainable for the environment, and tons of fun.

This being the second leg of the 2022 series where we have been the European Syrup Sponsor, we’ve been blown away by the competitors creativity when it comes to using syrups in their drinks.

We arrived in Budapest on Friday and the warm night air welcomed us to the bustling streets – it was late but the cafes and bars were buzzing with life as the city relaxed into the weekend and we knew it was going to be a great few days.

By Saturday morning a calm had washed over the streets and sleepy shop fronts peeled open in the sunshine as the smell off coffee and pastry filled the air. The café culture in Budapest is mind-blowing; cafes and coffee stands everywhere you look, offering everything from perfectly crafted lattes to extravagant coffee creations piled high with whipped cream and toppings.

As we made our way to Flow to set up, the energy in the café was electric. We were joined by the teams from Toddy and Rancilio for the Barista Workshops and enjoyed the calm before the storm of the sold out event.

The teams spent the afternoon training with cold brew, Sweetbird syrups and garnishes. They tested and practiced their drink creations for the final round and got to grips with the coffee machines for the first competition.

We had a chance to speak to some of the teams about the Sweetbird syrups and find out what these die-hard coffee connoisseurs thought of our products.

“I’ve never used syrups in coffee but the bold flavours really add something else to our cocktails and the flavours work so well together.” – Sandor, Dorado Café

As the evening started and guests began to flow in from all walks of life; there were roasters, café managers, sales and marketing professionals and of course baristas and coffee enthusiasts.

“The syrups are great and taste fantastic with cold brew.” – Viszneki, Vivina Cafe

The café was soon packed with the Hungarian coffee community and the six judges took their seats and the teams began pulling expert espressos.

We waited with baited breath as the creative round began and the teams whipped up wonderful cold brew cocktails using one of six Sweetbird syrups – Cherry, Watermelon & Iced Green Tea, Cane Sugar, Rose, Grenadine and Lemonade.

The evening drew to a close with The Vivina Team taking home first place with a cocktail featuring our Sweetbird Watermelon Iced Green Tea syrup and the first Hungarian Barista League competition was officially deemed a roaring success.

We can’t wait for the next leg of the European competition in Copenhagen taking place in September and to see more inspiring coffee creations.

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